With industrial decorating themes trending right now, why not consider an industrial look for your gardening? Some creative Thomas Edison sort of genius decided to use a light bulb as a planter. This idea has inspired a very cool and modern looking gardening method. Not only is a light bulb an element of unusual interest in gardening, recycling light bulbs for gardening purposes is an all around win for the environment.
How to Make Light Bulb Planters
Light bulb planters are easy to make. You can begin by using a burnt out light bulb that you already have on hand. Round, bulbous shaped light bulbs work best for this project, but there are no limits on size or shape. However, clear glass bulbs will create a more aesthetically appealing planter than frosted. Fluorescent light bulbs should not be used.
To prepare a light bulb for a future in gardening, the electrical contact portion, the insulation and the filaments from the inside will need to be removed. Wear gloves and eye protection to prevent an injury if the light bulb should break. With needle nose pliers, gently pull and pry off the layers of metal until they separate from the base of the bulb. The inner filaments can be broken and shaken out or gently wrangled out with needle nose pliers.
After the insides have been removed, you may want to curl the rim down to avoid any leftover sharp edges. And, to display your light bulb planter, consider attaching a wire, a twine hanger, or feet.
What to Plant in Light Bulb Planters
Once your light bulb is ready to go, there are several ways to use them. A simple single stemmed plant will really shine in a light bulb planter gone vase. A very petite (three to five stems) arrangement of flowers will cluster sweetly out the top of a light bulb. A light bulb vase is a charming and out of the box garden display.
Believe it or not, your light bulb can be used to propagate new plants. Take a cutting from an existing plant and place it into the light bulb planter filled partially full with water. Or, boost that root development by placing a single cutting into a rooting gel you’ve placed inside your light bulb. Place your little light bulb planter in a sunny location, and roots are sure to sprout.
A best choice for light bulb root starts is an herb plant. An herb plant, such as basil, is an easy plant to propagate from cuttings. When you place a basil cutting into a light bulb planter, make sure a leaf node is immersed in water. Look for new leaves to appear in 10 to 14 days from the leaf node.
Tomato plants are easy to grow from cuttings, too. Snip a sucker off a mother plant. Not only will this help you to create a brand new plant, but also the mother plant will thrive without the sucker. Once you’ve snipped a sucker off, strip the lower leaves off of the stem. Leave the top leaves attached. Place the stem in water in your light bulb. Your new plant will begin to sprout leaves in its humble, recycled, light bulb planter in about two weeks.
Several houseplants, such as ivy, philodendron, and dieffenbachia are great plants to start in a light bulb planter, too. As with basil, place a cutting into water. Make sure a leaf node is covered in water, too. New leaves should appear within two to three weeks.
Air plants also work well in light bulbs. Check out this tutorial for light bulb terrariums: